Thursday, April 30, 2009

Featured on Education site

One of the blogs I visited this month was kind enough to promote my book to teachers. The link is:

This is one of those sites where the more people click on the article, the more revenue for the writer :) so tell anyone you think might be interested! It also benefits my book:)

The Web is a powerful tool.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Photos from Schools

I have a few photos of some of the school visits I have made this past month. The condor feathers are filling in nicely with hundreds of feathers placed down by children in California and Arizona. I love the photo of the teacher doing some dots with her computer on the screen.

Here is some information about how I make my school book reading visits interactive and engaging for kids.

I really enjoy the interaction I have with kids during a reading event. I didn’t realize that it would be such a wonderful part of being published. I have now had the experience of reading my book to Pre-K through sixth graders. Each age group brings their unique perspectives and interests.

Usually I start out a reading by talking about key concepts of my book: what does it mean to be endangered; what was my process in creating my artwork; and what is magical about poetry; for older kids I talk about the process of getting published.

Then I read the poetry of the book. It amazes me how quiet and focused the children become when I read. It is like the rhythm of the poetry is soothing and comforting to listen to.

After I read the poems, I break down some of them down with the factual information in the back of the book. I point out unique characteristics and bring up any other specific information like: whether the species is specialized; what does it mean to be a mammal; how generations pass down information to their young.

Kids are amazed by size, so I get out the tape measure to show kids just how big the Mekong Giant Catfish can grow; how wide the wingspan of a Comoro Black Flying Fox is; and how small a Channel Island Fox can be. For the Mekong Giant Catfish, I ask for ten kids to come up and stand side by side to show how big the fish is.

Lastly, if we have time, I roll out a full-size drawing of a California Condor. I pass out a paper feather to each child and have them glue the feather on the bird. I explain that one feather might not seem like a lot, but combined they make a difference.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Earth by Disney Nature

Tonight me and my family went to the premier of "Earth." I left the theater with tears streaming down my face, and then cried for half an hour. Part of me was in awe of the incredible footage and timelapse photography. The other part of me felt dispair, hopelessness and sorrow. The earth is changing so rapidly many species can't keep up.

Just like my book, the truth was not sugar-coated. It was placed before the audience, plain as day, the earth is in serious trouble.

My hopelessness is hard to swallow, because I want so badly to believe that we can make a difference in the world; we can change what is happening to our planet. The dispair I feel is simple, if I care so much and make only a small difference, then how can millions of people, that don't care, change?

How can I get a louder voice? How can we get people to change? How can I do more? How can my book get to the front of a bigger audience than even Disney reaches?

I put these questions out there, not to neccessarily get the answers, but rather to process it and find my own solutions. I have at least started the process of change by getting my book published. Now it just needs to be picked up my moms, kids and teachers all over the world.

I worry that the only way many people will change is when the Polar Bear comes knocking on their door, begging for food.

I will be analyzing my habits and figuring out what I can change, to minimize my footprint. We started a garden this weekend to celebrate Earth Day, I have to continue to believe that it is the little things that make a difference in the world, otherwise my dispair will slow my process down.

I recommend to anyone that views this blog to go and see "Earth," it is in the theaters as of April 22nd.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Reading my book in Flagstaff, Arizona

Here is a link to a video of some of my book being read to a pre-k, kindergarten class in Flagstaff, AZ.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Arizona Tour Success

I don't think I would have ever imagined that I would sell out all of the books I had brought with me to Arizona. But I did! It was around 67 books. I am so happy and so tired, whew, travelling can be draining.

My kids were amazing on the trip. They have heard my book so many times and in so many classes, yet they are still excited to help and are memorizing the book. They have their questions that I direct to them, to get them involved in the process.

Today and tomorrow are the public libraries in Folsom, CA. I was able to read at the public library in Flagstaff, AZ and had a lot of fun with it.

Photos and video to come. I know I keep saying it, but my lids are falling down and a nap for 30 minutes would sure feel good about now.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Hooray for Flagstaff

So many wonderful events in such a short time. My head is still spinning from the excitement. All of the events in Flagstaff sold over 60 books. I have also had the opportunity to experience different ages in classes, upto sixth grade. It has been interesting figuring out how to change my presentation of the book based on age of the audience.

One presentation at a pre-k to kindergarten classroom offered their tape measure to use. I like to show the kids how big the Mekong Giant Catfish can grow to. The tape measure only went to two feet. A Mekong giant catfish can grow up to 10 feet long. So, I had to think fast at how to demonstrate the size. I saw that two small kids standing shoulder to shoulder measured about two feet. I asked if eight more volunteers could join me and stand next to each other. When we were done compiling our long line, I said "now this is the size of the fish." It was such a great way to show it to the kids, and they loved it!

I'll share more of my experiences over the next couple of days. My events slow down, and that will offer a little more sharing time in my blog!

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Book Signing in Flagstaff, AZ

I had an amazing book signing and reading yesterday at a bookstore in Flagstaff, AZ. I sold 26 copies and signed several more that had already been purchased. So many of our friends and even some family stopped by and shared their warm wishes and support. I was touched by all those that made the time to see me at this event.

I am overwhelmed by the positive responses to the book. The blog tour is going well, although I was a bit late getting content to a couple of blogs, due to our lost luggage problem, I am all caught up. Juggling and still fitting in sleep has been challenging.

I haven't really been in a situation where it is has been about me. My husband drove 12 hours to make sure I got to my signing on time. My friend Tracie has been all support, letting us stay in their home and having me ship things to her for the signing. I am grateful to those I love!

I do have photos to upload at the latest readings and school event. I hope to get those up tonight!

Friday, April 3, 2009

Planes, Trains and Automobiles

Well, I am on my way to Flagstaff, AZ. Had the airplane tickets, but was just bumped. Now, we are driving to Flagstaff, hooray...yawn...

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Blog Tour starts today!

I am wonderfully overwhelmed with the excitement of my blog tour. My mind is racing with, where do I begin? I have received so many wonderful ideas and suggestions for marketing. So, today I am on The Muffin, . I would like to thank Jodi from WOW for all she has done in getting my tour organized.

I also think it is amazing that my kids tell other kids that I am on a blog tour. Like it is natural. It was funny, this morning my daughter asked me if a guy crossing the street would know who I was. He was a random guy, and I told her I didn't think he would know me. Her response was, "why, you were in the newspaper last week." How cute is that?

Marketing has always been a fascinating tool. I have had several jobs in marketing, and it is coming in handy now. But, to keep up with Facebook, Twitter (which I haven't done yet), my blog, my web site, whew - technology is moving fast. The cool thing is that I love every minute of it:)

I am going to figure out how to video reading my book to a classroom and post that on my blog and Web site, I have noticed a lot of authors doing that. I will also post in the next month, doing a painting, so people can see how I do my technique. Maybe I'll provide this sooner than later.

Don't forget that EARTH DAY is coming on April 22nd. There is no better time to find resources that promote conservation for our kids - then now.